WW1 Photos Centenary Website: 2014-2018 By Paul Reed

Winter War: French Mountain Troops on Skis, Vosges 1915

This image was taken in the Vosges area, a region known for its severe weather and deep snow in the winter, and a sector of the Western Front in Eastern France where the fighting revolved around mountainous terrain. Here a group of French Alpine Troops are using skis are ‘on patrol’ although the front here was never really that fluid to allow such patrols to take place in the face of enemy positions and this is likely to be a posed image taken behind the French lines. However, it does give an insight into winter conditions in the Vosges in 1915.

One response

  1. This image may be posed but my research indicates that there were frequent clashes between French and German ski troops in the upper Vosges mountains during the winter of 1915, see: ‘In late March [1915] a first snow melt had made it possible for the Germans to move forward into ‘no mans land’ in the upper Fecht valley around Metzeral and establish a new front line; they firmly occupied the heights of the Schnepfenried and the Sillacker, to the north and the south of Mittlach, established outposts at Lake Schiessroth and in the farms located on the north side of the Hohneck, threatening the communication between 47th Division and 66th Division. The connection between these two divisions was established on the principal peaks of the Vosges, between Hohneck and Mittlach, by the French ski Companies who skirmished daily with the German Württemberg ski troops.’ (http://tim-slater.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/battles-for-munster-1915-pt-4-higher.html)

    02/01/2013 at 18:31

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